Richie Porte suffered a devastating crash while participating in the Tour de France on Sunday, July 10th. He was on a descent in the ninth stage of the race. It was announced after the crash that Porte had endured a broken collarbone and hip, in addition to hitting his head.
The crash happened when veering inside of a left-hand turn. Porte flew across the tarmac and into the solid bank on the other side of the road. Quick Step Floors’ Dan Martin was also caught up in the crash, although he was able to get back on his bike and continue further into the race. Porte says he considers himself lucky to have not experienced worse repercussions from the accident.
“I think after seeing the crash, I’m lucky also that I’ve come away with the injuries I’ve had,” he told ABC News Australia.
“I remember I came into the corner, it wasn’t like we were going too fast or anything like that. But I just remember I locked the back wheel up, and that was it really. Next thing I was heading for the grass verge on the corner.
“I stayed conscious the whole time. I remember the whole thing,” he said.
While Porte doesn’t expect to be back on his bike for a while, he is optimistic that it will be before the end of the year. For now, his team just wants to see him recover well.
Unfortunately, Porte wasn’t the only rider to have a bad race experience at the Tour de France. Five different riders were forced to abandon the race, and many others were hospitalized, according to Telegraph UK. Race organizers are now facing backlash about the race’s route-planning, with accusations that it was irresponsible. Organizers, however, claimed that the route was dangerous because of how the riders chose to attack it.
Tour Director, Christian Prudhomme, told Telegraph that, “The descents are part of the course. There are a lot of riders who crashed. There were some hard crashes. You’ve got to know that we’re not happy to see riders crash. [But] the descents are part of the course, just like the climbs.”
Britain’s Geraint Thomas, another race favorite, was also hurt in a crash and was forced out of the Tour de France as a result. He broke his collarbone during stage nine, as well. Thomas finished 15th in the Tour de France the last two years in a row, and he won the opening 14 km time trial in Dusseldorf this year. He was second in the race overall when he crashed on Sunday. He says that being forced out was tough – “a bitter pill to swallow.”
According to Thomas, the accident happened when: “Rafal Majka was trying to get past me a while, then he slapped on [the brakes] right in front of me, literally 10 seconds after I let him past. I was on his wheel doing 60 km/h, there’s absolutely nowhere to go. [Matteo] Trentin came down as well and it was just carnage really.”
Thomas had slightly better luck than Porte, as he expects to have an operation and get back on the bike “really soon.”
Currently, the Tour de France 2017 standings are as follows (after the 10th stage):
- Christopher Froome – Team Sky: 42hr 27min 28sec
- Fabio Aru – Astana Pro Team: +18 sec
- Romain Bardet – AG2R La Mondiale: +51 sec
Points Classification – Top 3:
- Marcel Kittel – Quick-Step Floors: 275 points
- Michael Matthews – Team Sunweb: 173 points
- Andre Greipel – Lotto Soudal: 150 points
The Tour de France will continue and finish in Paris on Sunday, July 23rd. Stay tuned!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/en/tour-de-france-yellow-jersey-1013225/